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FLOW CHARACTERISTICS

OF
HYDROTHANE TRASHRACK ASSEMBLIES

Prepared For
HYDROTHANE SYSTEMS

Prepared By
JOHN C. ROBERGE, P.E.

C:\My Documents\DELL Transfer\CLIENTS\Hydrothane \Test - Roberge - Flow Chracteristics.doc

FLOW CHARACTERISTICS
OF
HYDROTHANE TRASHRACK ASSEMBLIES
JOHN C. ROBERGE, P.E.
INTRODUCTION
The use of coarse bar trashracks on power plant, municipal, industrial and other water intake systems effectively
reduces damages to pumps, piping and associated structures and equipment. Steel bar trashracks are extensively
employed at such facilities. Vast quantities of empirical data are available to the design engineer for steel bar
racks. Idelchik (1966), Handbook of Hydraulic Resistance and D.S. Miller (1968), Internal Flow Systems have
evaluated and summarized these data. HYDROTHAEN SYSTEMS has developed a high density polyethylene
(DHPE) trashrack bar system which exhibits several potential advantages over steel bar systems. The HDPE
racks are highly resistant to corrosion and erosion, but most significantly they demonstrate higher hydraulic
efficiency (lower headloss) when compared with typical steel trashracks. The work described in this paper
provides the design engineer with basic flow rate pressure drop data for the HYDROTHANE rack assemblies.
HYDRAULIC PERFORMANCE
The pressure or head drop across a trashrack structure (H) is commonly expressed as a pressure drop coefficient
(IK), which is expressed as:
IK - H/V /2g
The pressure drop coefficient is a function of the trashrack Reynolds number and the fractional open area of the
rack:
IK = f (IR,a r)
The tests described in this summary were all conducted using HDPE extruded bars with a thickness of 0.5in and a
section depth of 4.0 in. Each bar edge included a moderate radius, thus relieving the rectangular section of any
sharp edges. The HYDROTHANE tests were all conducted in flow ranges which yielded Reynolds numbers
typically greater than 1 x 104 . It was thus concluded that the principal and most useful expression for the design
of an HDPE trashrack would show IK as independent of IR and provided as a plot of IK versus ar , where:
ar = Free Cross Section at Bars/Total Cross Section Area
Velocity, V, was measured as the average velocity of the flow stream approaching the trashracks.
HYDROTHANE RACK ASSEMBLY TESTS
A HYDROTHAEN HDPE trashrack assembly was tested in a 1.5 ft x 3.5 ft hydraulic flume to quantify the
headloss through the rack as a function of approach velocity (V) and rack area ratio (ar ). The area ration was
adjusted by varying the spacing of the trashrack bars. All of the hydraulic flume tests conducted using 0.5 in x
4.0 in (Nom) HDPE radius edged extruded bars.
Headloss (H) across the trashrack test section (s) was measured as a difference between piezometric head
upstream versus downstream of the rack(s). Average approach velocity, V, was determined by measuring the
total inflow to the test flume and dividing by the measured area of flow.

C:\My Documents\DELL Transfer\CLIENTS\Hydrothane \Test - Roberge - Flow Chracteristics.doc

Table 1 is a summary of the test data which was developed for the HYDROTHANE test rack assemblies. These
data were averaged for each area ratio, ar , which was tested. The averaged data points were plotted on the
attached plot. This plot included comparison curves for rectangular steel trashrack bars and streamlined steel bar
racks.
CONCLUSIONS
The laboratory test results, as summarized on the attached plot, demonstrate that the HYDROTHANE bar rack
assembly can provide significantly reduced losses when compared with steel racks of comparable geometry. The
potential energy savings were particularly manifested in rack assemblies requiring close bar spacing.
The plot also shows an empirically derived design curve (Miller, 1968) for streamlined steel bar racks. No tests
were conducted on streamlined HDPE bars. It could be concluded that streamlining of the HDPE extrusion
would result in further decreasing headlosses.
The attached data plot provides design data for engineers and intake structure operators. For any given bar rack
geometry (spacing), the anticipated headloss can be determined for the design approach velocity.

C:\My Documents\DELL Transfer\CLIENTS\Hydrothane \Test - Roberge - Flow Chracteristics.doc

HYDROTHANE TEST RACK: HYDRAULIC FLUME TEST

Flow, cfs

h, ft

d, ft

Total
Section Area

5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00

3.040
3.600
4.250
4.710
3.120
3.190
3.510
4.130
4.510
4.850
5.440
5.130
4.990
5.560
5.880
5.440
5.220
4.290
3.820
3.460
3.460
3.330
3.180
3.120

2.270
2.340
2.420
2.470
2.740
2.640
2.230
2.320
2.360
2.410
2.440
2.390
2.720
2.500
2.580
2.540
2.510
2.350
2.290
2.240
2.370
2.500
2.580
2.740

3.125
3.125
3.125
3.125
2.060
2.060
2.060
2.060
2.060
2.060
2.060
2.060
2.060
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250
1.250

3.393
3.498
3.617
3.692
4.096
3.946
3.333
3.468
3.528
3.602
3.647
3.573
4.066
3.737
3.857
3.797
3.752
3.513
3.423
3.348
3.543
3.737
3.857
4.096

NOTE:

Free
Cross
Section
2.920
3.010
3.113
3.178
3.297
3.176
2.683
2.791
2.840
2.900
2.936
2.876
3.273
2.696
2.782
2.739
2.706
2.534
2.469
2.415
2.555
2.696
2.782
2.954

Ratio, a/r

V, fps

Head
Loss, ft

H Loss/K

0.861
0.861
0.861
0.861
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.805
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721
0.721

0.896
1.029
1.175
1.276
0.762
0.808
1.053
1.191
1.278
1.346
1.492
1.436
1.227
1.488
1.525
1.433
1.391
1.221
2.116
1.033
0.977
0.891
0.825
0.762

0.012
0.016
0.021
0.025
0.009
0.010
0.017
0.022
0.025
0.028
0.035
0.032
0.023
0.034
0.036
0.032
0.030
0.023
0.019
0.017
0.015
0.012
0.011
0.009

0.001
0.001
0.001
0.001
0.002
0.002
0.003
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.005
0.004
0.016
0.018
0.012
0.013
0.011
0.010
0.009
0.009
0.007
0.006
0.005

0.080
0.061
0.047
0.040
0.222
0.197
0.174
0.036
0.158
0.178
0.174
0.156
0.171
0.465
0.499
0.376
0.433
0.475
0.517
0.543
0.608
0.568
0.568
0.555

(1) All tests were conducted using HYDROTHANE 0.5 IN X 4.0 IN Extruded HDPE radius edge bars
(2) N = No of bars on test rack assembly, flume width = 1.5 FT
(3) Total Cross Section and Free Cross Section Measured in (sqft)

C:\My Documents\DELL Transfer\CLIENTS\Hydrothane \Test - Roberge - Flow Chracteristics.doc

Data
Average

0.057

0.174

0.510